Stress can so easily overtake the mind and body, making it not only difficult to sleep, but to feel relaxed in general. Beyond general relaxation techniques, journaling can be a great way to get thoughts on paper so that you can remember them and see your progress. Below, we’ve shared a few ways to use journaling for stress relief and overall, to calm your mind.
Put your feelings to paper.
Write down whatever you are feeling, no matter how trivial or heavy it might seem. Put it on paper and read over it once or twice. If it’s trivial, you’ve put these thoughts on paper, and have started the process of getting them off of your mind. If they’re things you need to continue to consider, then you have them to review over time.
Remember or Process Your Dreams
Dreams can be a manifestation of feelings or stresses you won’t let yourself feel. In order to relax, it might help you to journal the dreams. Get them down on paper once you wake up, and take a moment or two later on to reflect on the meaning of the dreams, or to write your reaction when you’re in a more clear headspace.
Make Lists of Your Thoughts
Creating lists for things you need to remember or things you just want to let out is wonderful. It takes the worry out of the mind to know there is an actual plan of tasks and items put together, on paper, where they can be remembered. This remedies the stress of falling asleep with thoughts racing to the mind, or waking up in a sudden panic that something has or will be forgotten. That dissipates anxiety and truly allows for stress relief, day or night.
Once you’ve made journaling more of a habit in your life, try transitioning journaling to a time right before you head to bed. This is a great time to spend a little longer on your writing, or to reflect on things or activities for which you’re grateful as well. It also lets you get out any stressful or anxious thoughts before you sleep, allowing you a clear mind that is prepared for rest.